Nicaragua’s national football team is gearing up for the Gold Cup, and in a strategic move, is banking on the skills of six players from neighboring Costa Rica. These players, despite being born in Costa Rica, have Nicaraguan lineage through their parents. As a result, they qualify for Nicaraguan citizenship and are eligible to represent the country on the field.
The Six Costa Rican-Nicaraguan Players
Nicaragua’s coach, Marco Antonio “Fantasma” Figueroa, has revealed a preliminary team roster that includes one goalkeeper, three defenders, a midfielder, and a striker from Costa Rica. These players are among the 60 players who have been given a preliminary call to compete for their place on the team.
One of these players is Nextaly Rodríguez from Heredia. In the same list, Douglas Forvis, a goalkeeper who once represented Municipal Liberia and Santos de Guápiles, has also been included. After his stint in Costa Rica, Forvis joined the ranks of Real Estelí in Nicaragua.
The defense lineup includes Christian Reyes from Pérez Zeledón and Francisco Flores Zapata, who is currently playing for Diriangén. Another noteworthy name is Juan Luis Pérez from Alajuela, who has previously played for San Carlos and the Nicaraguan Under-20 team.
Rounding off the six is Bryan López, who made his debut with the Nicaraguan National Team in 2022.
The Road to the Gold Cup
The prestigious Gold Cup will kick off on June 26. However, before they set their sights on the Gold Cup, the team will face the United States, Jamaica, and an as yet unconfirmed opponent. With the talent and diverse skills these Costa Rican-Nicaraguans bring to the team, Nicaragua’s chances look promising.